Letter to Andrew Jackson from Daniel Todd Patterson

New Orleans 3rd April 1815

    In an answer to your note yesterday, I have the honor to state; that the apearance, of the Enemy's force, on this coast, and their capture of our Gun Boats; the weak state of this city and its environs; and the situation of the country generally, was such, as in my opinon, made the declartion of Martial Law indispensible. I know that the same opinion was held by the Executive of this State; and that the State Legislature thought so likewise; was fully proved, by the acts passed by them previous to the proclomation of Martial Law, authorizing the impressment of seamen and laying an Embargo measures, wholly growing out of the necessity of the case and exigencies of the times.
    I had; at the time little opportunity of knowing the opinion of the Judiciary; my personal duties occupied me wholly; but the discharge of these very duties, made me know that Mr Lewis, one of the State Judges served in the Ranks of a volunteer company of Militia, as a private soldier, and being afterwards chosen and appointed a Lieutenant he served in the same compnay until the peace.
    I do believe that the proclamation, & enforcement of Martial Law was necessary, for the defense of the Country and preservation of the City; and that by those measures, it could alone be saved; and at the time such was the universal sentiment of all good citizens.
    Under the Law of the state I did press into the naval service of the United States, a number of seamen and held them in service, until the peace took place; my impressments were made in open day in the most frequented parts of the City and were of course matter of notriety. I have the honor to be with great respect your ob sert.

Danl T. Patterson
Comg the U.S. Naval Forces
on the New Orleans Station

1 comment:

  1. Here is the text of the letter from Jackson to Patterson now in possession of HNOC to which the above is the reply.
    Thanks for this post. I am a Patterson descendant.

    The undersigned with compliments to
    Commodore Patterson request him to furnish
    the undersigned with a statement of the occurrences
    that took place about the time anterior
    to the declaration of martial law- whether
    this step was not thought necessary and proper
    by the Legislature, the Executive and the
    Judiciary and by which alone the country
    could be defended and the city saved, and
    whether this was not the sentiments of
    every good citizen and real defender of his
    country- and whether the act authorizing
    you to impress seamen and laying an
    embargo, was not passed about that time
    in and of the martial law- and a measure
    growing out of the necessity of the case
    and whether under that law you did
    not impress into the service of the
    United States who were held in the service
    until the promulgation of the treaty and
    whether the impressment was not a
    matter of notoriety to all- and furnish
    the undersigned with this statement
    tomorrow morning and oblige.
    Sir yr mo ob ser
    Andrew Jackson
    April 2nd, 1815